Kicking off a yearlong celebration of its 225th anniversary, the United States Mint unveiled the 2017 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin in a ceremony today at the Department of Treasury in Washington, D.C.
Highlights of the 225th anniversary coin include an ounce of .9999 fine gold, an increased level of detail, a proof finish, raised edge lettering with stars, and a 1792-2017 duel date.
Then there is the design. Its obverse or heads side depicts Liberty as an African-American woman, facing left, wearing a crown of stars in homage to the bronze Statue of Freedom topping the dome of the U.S. Capitol, representing the traditional hopeful ideas of liberty while offering a hint of the possibilities that the future may hold.
U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program designer Justin Kunz created the portrait while U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill sculpted it. Their initials, JK and PH, appear on the design along with surrounding inscriptions of LIBERTY, the years 1792 and 2017, and the motto IN GOD WE TRUST.
The reverse or tails side depicts an American eagle in flight with circling inscriptions of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, 100 DOLLARS, and 1OZ. .9999 FINE GOLD. Toward the bottom left is a ‘W’ mintmark, denoting its production at the U.S. Mint facility in West Point, New York.
Initials of CTC and MG complete the artwork, representing U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program designer Chris T. Costello and U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.
Adding to its collectible appeal, edges of the high-relief gold coin show raised lettering of 225TH ANNIVERSARY and 13 five-point stars.
After reviewing candidates, the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee recommended both designs in March 2016.
The 24-karat gold coin is scheduled to launch sometime in the spring. Companion silver medals with the same designs should follow by summertime. It extends the high-relief $100 series, with the first issue in 2015 capturing sales of more than 49,000. Two silver medals followed in 2016 and quickly sold out.
The April 2, 1792 Act of Congress authorized Bureau of the Mint and the construction of its first building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Update (Jan 12): In a news release, the U.S. Mint announced that the 225th anniversary gold coin will launch on April 6. In addition, the bureau said the coin is:
"The first in a series of 24-karat gold coins that will feature designs which depict an allegorical Liberty in a variety of contemporary forms-including designs representing Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Indian-Americans among others-to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States. These 24-karat gold coins will be issued biennially."
The news release also stated that the gold piece will ship in a custom designed, black wood presentation case along with a 225th anniversary booklet and a Certificate of Authenticity.
Update (Jan 13): The United States Mint published a video showing production stages of the gold coin, as well as some completed examples in their packaging. The Mint’s footage is embedded below.